Take thatWe were lucky last Thursday’s weather was clement, because we had to park approximately a million miles away from the Fuck Cancer Benefit at Mercy Lounge. There was something happening downstairs, something we’re assuming was pop country based on the row of lithe young ladies in cowboy hats filing into the Cannery Ballroom. Noses upturned, we made it upstairs only to find Ricky Young had at least a dozen women swooning over his Western shirt and tangled East Coast hair. There was a pervasive twang throughout his set, so judge not, lest something something. Lesson learned and beer firmly in hand, we had a look at the back bar, set aside for a silent auction full of hip Nashville goodies. Among them was a Salon Ya-Ya session with benefit organizer Courtney Krampf and earrings made of hair. Human hair. No thanks! Next it was time for The Features, an absolute favorite, who peppered old and new throughout their short set of frantic pop and enjoyed a substantially swelled crowd. They ended with their now-usual closer, “Mosis Tosis.” Uh, why don’t they play “Thursday” anymore? Tommy and the Whale, who ended up headlining though The Features were originally slotted for that spot, played a batch of radio-friendly pop rock to a captive audience, and also had a decent amount of female fans—when did musicians here get so hot? Unfortunately, bands Pico vs Island Trees and Cassino—whose heartfelt, countrified pop was enhanced by Krampf’s drummer dad Craig—were mostly missed because The Spin had some hypocritical cigarettes to smoke outside. Fuck cancer.
Gettin’ JickyIt seems like this always happens. Cashville will go weeks without an exciting touring act coming through town, and then, all of a sudden, there’s an embarrassment of riches. So, on the same night, our little burg hosted Stars at The Belcourt and Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks at Mercy Lounge. Choose your poison. Being omnipotent, ubiquitous and all-knowing, The Spin was able to attend both shows. Ka-plow! We showed up at Mercy early so we’d be sure to catch opener John Vanderslice. A couple of years ago, we saw him at Exit/In, where he played to a mostly empty room—it was tragic, and kind of embarrassing for our fair city, so it was nice to see him take the stage in front of a rapidly growing crowd. Accompanied by a couple of multi-intrumentalists, Vanderslice did an admirable job re-creating his layered, carefully produced songs. Highlights included “Exodus Damage” (remember that jam?) and the beautiful, melancholy “Time Travel Is Lonely.” At the end of the set, the band took to the floor and played a number in the midst of the crowd. This is always a stunt that is better in theory than in practice. We’re sure it’s totally sweet for the small cadre of folks closest to the action, but we’re short. During the break, Vanderslice manned the merch booth—giving all the ghermers ample and unobtrusive opportunity to chat him up. (Our companion bought a T-shirt and had a chuckle with him about their shared love of Romantic poetry—nerds.) By the time Malkmus and crew took the stage, the place was full. There were young hipsters, old hipsters and medium hipsters. It was nuts. Malkmus played a range of songs from his solo catalog, including the excellent “Animal Midnight” and our favorite newbie “Dragonfly Pie.” Some of the newer songs were stretched even beyond their already swollen album versions, but we could listen to Malkmus play guitar all day long. The frontman is not an overly demonstrative performer, but he’s Stephen Fucking Malkmus, so it’s hard to complain.
We told you last week that The Spin would be replaced by a nationally syndicated column called “The Shizzle.” April Fools! You’re probs totes pissed. Send your show reviews to email@example.com.
well fuck you anon! Go and Catch fire!
The guitar is a custom made Gretsch he used on the Raconteurs tours...sweet. I couldn't…
I knew him before the beard.
Sometimes I think snowman69 makes good points. But I think he's way off the mark…